CARACAS — With the return of Cuba and the addition of Curaçao as novelties, the next Caribbean Series will be played in two stadiums in Venezuela and will feature eight participating teams for the first time.
The announcement was made on Friday by the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation (CBPC).
The 2023 Caribbean Series “will be historic and will mark a milestone,” said the CBPC commissioner, Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, at a virtual press conference from Santo Domingo. The maximum baseball tournament in the Caribbean will be played in February.
The “65th special edition” of the Caribbean Series will be played with eight teams “which constitutes a qualitative and quantitative achievement, in favor of Caribbean baseball fans,” the CBPC said in a statement.
The Caribbean tournament will bring together the winter baseball champions of Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama and Venezuela. The ninth from Venezuela, as the host country, extended the invitation to Curaçao, which does not have an active league during the winter, but has a talented crop of players who play in organized baseball in the United States, including the Major Leagues.
Cuba, meanwhile, returns, after being absent in the past three tournaments.
The Cuban team was part of the so-called Caribbean World Series from 1949 to 1960, during the so-called first stage of the tournament, but was dropped from the competition after the late Cuban President Fidel Castro banned professional sports on the island.
The Cubans returned to the Series in 2014 and were proclaimed champions in 2015, but the team had not participated since in January 2020 it was replaced at the last minute by Colombia after not obtaining US visas in time to travel to Puerto Rico as a result. of the tensions between Washington and Havana during the administration of then President Donald Trump.
It is not clear if Cuba will also be present in 2024, when the tournament is scheduled to be staged in the US city of Miami.
The president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, Juan Reynaldo Pérez Pardo, and the representative of Curaçao, Jedrek Magdelena, thanked the Venezuelan League for the invitation.
The president of the Venezuelan League, Guiseppe Palmesano, who heads the Organizing Committee of the Caribbean Series “Gran Caracas 2023”, stated that he is “working tirelessly” to put on an excellent show.
“As is known, we will play in two stadiums,” the University Stadium in Caracas and the Forum Stadium in La Guaira, about 20 kilometers north of the Venezuelan capital, home of the Sharks in the local tournament.
In 2006, in Venezuela, it was also played in two venues, the central cities of Valencia and Maracay, where the local Leones de Caracas were crowned.